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VPM Daily Newscast March 5, 2021

VPM's daily newscast contains all your Central Virginia news in just 5 to 10 minutes. Hosted by Benjamin Dolle, episodes are recorded the night before so you can wake up prepared.

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Here’s a recap of the top stories on the morning of Friday, March 5, 2021:

  • U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine is pushing to include mental health protections for healthcare providers in the federal relief package under consideration. The measure is named after Dr. Lorna Breen, a Virginia native who died by suicide in April last year. She was a New York City emergency room director. Kaine was joined by Breen’s family in a virtual press conference. He says the Senate’s COVID-19 bill includes $140 million for mental health programs, training, awareness campaigns, and counseling. If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is open 24 hours a day at 800-273-8255.
     
  • The Virginia Department of Health announced yesterday that the first child under the age of 10 has died due to COVID-19. No other details have been released. Across the country, almost 300 children under the age of 18 have died due to the virus. In a statement, the State Health Commissioner reminded residents the pandemic is not yet over and to continue following CDC recommendations like wearing a mask in public and frequent handwashing. 
     
  • The Mayor’s Homelessness Advisory Council has issued its final report. They are recommending Richmond create a Community Resource Center in City Hall to serve as a hub for residents to access all kinds of social services, among other proposals.
     
  • Gov. Ralph Northam has endorsed Democrat Jay Jones to become Virginia’s next Attorney General. In a statement released Wednesday, Northam said it was time for “a new generation of leaders.” Jones is a lawyer who represents Norfolk in the House of Delegates. The 31-year-old is running against current Attorney General Mark Herring in the Democrat primary set for June. Northam, who cannot run again for his post this year, has not endorsed candidates for governor or lieutenant governor.
     
  • A group of adjunct professors gathered on VCU’s campus on Thursday to demand better compensation for their work. VCU adjuncts, who do not enjoy benefits such as health insurance, having been seeking a pay raise for years.
     
  • Volunteers are needed to help plant 300 trees along a barren bike path near Fairfield Elementary School in Richmond’s East End. Richmond Cycling Corps has partnered with Reforest Richmond to help with the planting. The three-hour event starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday. People who volunteer will need to wear a facemask and maintain physical distancing. Organizers suggest bringing gloves and a shovel. 
     
  • Virginia Democrats continued their push for environmental reform during this year’s legislative session. VPM reporter Patrick Larsen recently sat down with the Virginia Mercury’s Sarah Vogelsong to break down the new measures.